Child Sponsorship Background from Cuenca, Ecuador

A child from Ricaurte, EcuadorSOS Children's Village Cuenca

SOS Children's Village Cuenca (formerly known as Ricaurte) was opened in 1997 and was built on 2.5 hectares of land and has twelve family houses that provide a new home to a total of 108 children. The Children's Village also has a village director's house, an administrative building with offices and a house for the "SOS aunts" (SOS Children's Village mothers in training who assist current SOS mothers in their everyday work and stand in for them if they are ill or on holiday).

Other SOS Projects in Cuenca

The SOS Nursery School was opened in 1997 and provides supervision for up to 50 children from the SOS Children's Village and the local neighbourhood in its two group rooms. Two SOS Youth Homes (for girls and boys) were created in urban Cuenca in 2001. Young people from the SOS Children's Village can be housed here for the period of their secondary or vocational education, which gradually prepares them for an independent life.

Since January 2006, an SOS Social Centre also forms part of the SOS Children's Village Cuenca. The SOS Social Centre is run as a day-care centre and has a capacity of up to 90 children. The day-care centre is particularly valuable to single mothers from the area as it enables them to earn or at least contribute towards earning money for the family, safe in the knowledge that their children are being cared for by trained supervisors. Information events are held on health, balanced diets and other health issues. Supporting women is also a central concern. Further vocational training in a range of manual work is available for women, so as to improve single mothers' qualifications and therefore increase their income and improve their societal status.

Background to Cuenca

Cuenca, founded in 1557, (full name Santa Ana de los cuatro ríos de Cuenca) is the third largest city in Ecuador.  It has a population of about 300,000.  It is the capital of the Azuay Province. Cuenca is located in the Sierra, the highlands of Ecuador, at about 2500m (8200 ft) above sea level. Cuenca is often referred to as the 'Athens of Ecuador' as it is famous for its poets and artists as well as universities and factory production of ceramics and furniture.